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Gerdau brings holiday warmth, cheer to Lonsdale students
Steel recycler donates coats, hats, mittens and more to schoolchildren
The holidays will be brighter and the winter a little warmer for 438 Lonsdale Elementary School students, thanks to steel recycler Gerdau and others in the community.
Maintaining a tradition that started in 2000, Gerdau hosted on Dec. 12 its annual Mitten Tree event to provide hats, mittens, holiday treats and a visit from Santa for the schoolchildren. The event is a highlight for both Gerdau employees and Lonsdale students.
“Our students always look forward to the Mitten Tree at Lonsdale,” Principal Wendy Hansard said. Gerdau picks out some great hats and mittens, and we enjoy seeing our kids wearing them in cold winter months. Students wear them as they walk to school each day and pull them back out again to play on the playground. The Mitten Tree includes a visit with Santa, and we love seeing the children’s faces light up as they talk with him before selecting their mittens. We appreciate the men and women at Gerdau for coming back each year.”
Gerdau also donated basic need items for the third annual Lonsdale Elementary Winter Gift Shop, which is supported by area businesses, organizations, churches and the Knoxville Police Department. The shop puts a twist on the Angel Tree concept. Instead of purchasing gifts for a designated child, donors provide things like clothing, balls, games and books. Parents then “purchase” five gifts for each child by making donations as they are able.
“We love connecting with the Lonsdale community and Lonsdale Elementary,” Gerdau Vice President and General Manager Johnny Miller said. “The Mitten Tree and Winter Gift Shop provide an excellent way to celebrate the holidays and spend time with Lonsdale Elementary students and their parents.”
Gerdau has a robust social responsibility program that focuses on providing community support in the locations where it operates.
Gerdau is a leading producer of long steel in the Americas and one of the largest suppliers of special steel in the world. It has industrial operations in 13 countries – in the Americas, Europe and Asia – which together represent an installed capacity of more than 25 million metric tons of steel per year. It is the largest recycler in Latin America and around the world it transforms, each year, millions of metric tons of scrap into steel, reinforcing its commitment to sustainable development in the regions where it operates. With more than 140,000 shareholders, the Company is listed on the stock exchanges of São Paulo, New York and Madrid.
In 2016, Gerdau won the Knoxville Chamber Impact Award in recognition of its broad community support of its Lonsdale neighbors.